It’s a Mad, Mad (Internet) World

Every now and I then, I leave Facebook. Now, don’t be confused; I don’t leave because I yearn to pursue nobler pastimes. I leave because it gives me heart palpitatations. I don’t like seeing my thousands of closest “friends” as they reveal their crazy, more and more readily. Strange, sad selfies that include disturbing song lyrics about slitting throats in the same post as “#longhairdontcare #stripedshirt #lovemybabydaughter,” can set anyone’s day off on the wrong foot. Facebook seems to be the go-to platform for the unhinged, and I don’t want all that crazy messing with my already tenuous mental health.

Adding fuel and links to the shared fire are the otherwise sane people on social media who are mad. They’re not ANGRY; they’re not toiling and ruminating over something about which they can no longer stay silent. No, these people are mad about something new and topical, and they are gonna express their mad before anyone can talk them out of it. AND they are going to do this on a platform where equally as fired up people will try to do exactly that: talk them out of it. These hapless challengers will be foiled, of course, by self-righteous agree-ers. Said agree-ers are dangerous because they have found a person who shares their view, which of course makes them REALLY smart. Gifted, even. Possibly deserving of a trophy baring a plate engraved with the words “World’s Best at Agreeing with Someone In a Way that is Articulate Enough to Warrant One or Two ‘Likes,’ One of Which Belongs to the Person Who Made The Original Post.” Now that they have received such high honors from themselves, the agree-ers will turn around and post some mad material of their own, without any hesitation, thus starting the whole masturbatory cycle again.

The mad posters are irrational in the way only unchecked, isolated people can be. Scrolling through the News Feed is like catching snippets of hermits ranting to themselves, using blunt, hateful language that would shut down a face-to-face conversation faster than “Debbie Downer.” Hey! Mad guys! You couldn’t use this type of language in real life because you would immediately out yourself as defensive. That’s right: you’re this mad, and your language is this strong, because you are aware, deep down, of how easily you could be challenged. Your hope is to scare away actual conversation, dropping your mic after leaving a big, scary poo of a statement on the Facebook stage.

Don’t worry! A lot of us share your mad urges. Every time I begin to post something mad, I run it by Preston, first. My verbal delivery is apologetic from the second I ask him to listen, because I already know: it’s too much, Sydney, and someone could call you out within seconds of reading it. Even when I get far enough to hit “Post,” I usually delete it within minutes, because I just don’t care enough after typing it to hear anybody else be mad about it, too (whether agreeing with me, or not). Moreover, everyone being mad is not productive, especially if all we do is type it out while sitting on our asses. Mad doesn’t make anyone’s thoughts evolve. Mad doesn’t encourage empathy. Mad usually fails to employ basic skills like comparison, deductive reasoning, understanding… It just leads to a bunch of people, arms crossed, eyes staring into devices, as they suppress their natural instincts to either move to action, or to approach a friend IN PERSON and ask to be talked away from the ledge.

Don’t have a friend? Hash it out with a therapist, and make yourself into even better friend material! Because honestly, I have too many “friends” on Facebook, so my real friends need to work that shit out before we open the wine.

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